Moontrug’s done a lot of exhausting workouts in her life – trained in a circus, hung upside down in an Anti-Gravity yoga class, run up and down some MASSIVE munros in Scotland – but nothing has left her feeling quite so exhausted as reading Neil Gaiman’s totally brilliant Fortunately, The Milk… Indeed she was so breathless by the end she had to go and sit in a dark room with a blanket on top of her head.
Mum’s away. Dad’s in charge. There’s no milk. So Dad saves the day by going to buy some. Really, that’s all that happens. Very boring. YAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWN. And yet, during that seemingly dull episode a series of EXTRAORDINARY events happen and both the writing and the illustrations (by the uber cool Chris Riddell) take you on a journey of total brilliance. Because on the way back home (fortunately, with the milk) Dad is abducted by aliens covered in goo and then hurled into the hands of pirates! Desperate to hold onto the milk, Dad manages to hitch an escape ride in a hot air balloon piloted by the very capable Professor Steg.
But the two of them are going to need to keep their wits about them if they’re to avoid being sacrificed to a volcano god, re-abducted by aliens and freaked out by wumpires. The book is both a fantastic adventure story and a laugh-a-second ride through ridiculous names (Splod, Nessie Grundledorfer), fabulously original characters and a lot of MILK. Just when you think the plot can’t get any more extraordinary, a vain unicorn pops in or an alien sidles up and declares he’s going to replace all the trees in the world with plastic flamingos.
Neil Gaiman completely freaked Moontrug out with The Graveyard Book (how’s this for a first line: ‘There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife’) so she was pretty relieved to see he’s capable of making her laugh, too. And laugh Moontrug did – A LOT. The humour is so absurdly wonderful it made Moontrug feel faintly normal. Take Steg, for example: ‘According to my calculation, if the same object from two different times touches itself, one of two things will happen. Either the Universe will cease to exist. Or three remarkable dwarfs will dance through the streets with flowerpots on their heads.’ Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle… Or even Dad’s daughter: ‘Spoons are excellent. Sort of like forks, only not as stabby.’
Fortunately, The Milk… is a fabulous book for 7+ years looking for a lively, gigglesome adventure – and it’s tucked up nicely in Moontrug’s Altocumulus Tower. So if you’re fancying a bit of SUNSHINE in all this rain, go buy it – because it’s bound to cheer you up! Oh, and before I forget – there’s a secret pop up illustration by Chris Riddell. Yeah, I know – TOO cool. And Neil Gaiman finally tells us where all of the dinosaurs have gone…